Bangkok : The Minister of Tourism and Sports, said the extra holidays are meant to boost domestic tourism as the country’s entry ban on foreign tourists, which began in late March, is still intact. Thailand is expected to welcome less than 8 million foreign visitors in 2020 compared to nearly 40 million in 2019. Their spending has accounted for at least 11.4 per cent of the GDP that year.Many employees from the tourism sector and businesses within the supply chain of the industry are expected to be out of a job as the government continues to extend the ban. The government’s previous measure to provide discounts and subsidies (worth more than 22 billion baht) for Thai citizens to deduct from their spending on domestic travelling has proven to be a flop, critic says. They said that hotel bookings during the promotional period, which started on July 18, has been much lower than expected. Less than 900,000 hotel rooms were booked out of the nearly 4 million people that registered for the scheme.In response, the government had already come out with another round of discounts and subsidies with added incentives. The extra holidays in November and December are part of this effort to boost domestic tourism while foreign tourists are still banned.

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